Arts Education & The Local Control Funding Formula

In 2013 California adopted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), an unprecedented shift in state support for education that links funding levels to student need and empowers school districts to set goals that fulfill broad priorities including student engagement, school climate, parent involvement, and a broad course of study.  As a result of this new policy, all school districts created a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) that describes how they will support students over the next three years. Arts for LA and the LA County Arts Commission conducted a scan of LCAPs written by the 81 school districts in LA County to determine if and how the arts were included. This scan is particularly timely as school districts are in the process of considering changes and additions to their LCAPs in advance of submitting an Annual Update for approval by the County.

For more information on this study, contact Arts for LA at [email protected]

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In the coming weeks and months, districts will be updating their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) to determine priorities and funding for the coming years. The California Alliance has created a set of materials and trainings to empower advocates to contribute to these important conversations, educating officials about the benefits of arts education. Including this “5 Examples of Arts Education in District LCAPs” to show how different districts in California wrote the arts in their plans. 

For more information on this document, visit:

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Arts for LA, Arts for All, and the California Alliance for Arts Education collaborated to develop an LCAP Template that offers concrete examples of how districts can implement arts education strategies to improve student outcomes.

  Photo: CAAE Logo   Arts for LA LogoPhoto: Arts for All

Free to download, use, and distribute with attribution.


Be a Solution Partner.

3 ways to support your district LCAP process

Download this flyer for ways to particpate in your district's LCAP planning process April - June 30. 2014.

  1. Share the Arts Education LCAP Template with your district leaders, parent advisory committees, and community partners. 
  2. Tell us about your district LCAP: Take this survey to offer feedback on the Arts Education LCAP template, tell us about your district's LCAP and tell us how we can support your efforts.
  3. Write a letter to your district leaders. A sample letter to district leaders can be found on the California Alliance for Arts Education site.

All Los Angeles County LCAPs can be found here:

For more information on the template and ways to use it for developing an LCAP, watch our Writing Arts Education into a District LCAP webinar below:

Writing Arts Education into a District - LCAP Webinar - April 16, 2014 from Sibyl O'Malley on Vimeo.

Download a PDF of the webinar slides HERE.


The Arts Education LCAP template provides practical examples of how arts education strategies may be written into an LCAP and can be used as a jumping-off point for Local Education Agencies as they consider the role of the arts in addressing local needs. It also includes links to research-based documents that can serve as a supporting tool to this template.

The role of the arts in improving student outcomes has been widely studied. A strong body of research has emerged that demonstrates student learning in and through the arts. The following are two research-based documents that can serve as supporting tools to this template:

1.     Preparing Students for the Next America: The Benefits of an Arts Education:

2.     Arts Education Navigator Facts and Figures:


This resource was developed in collaboration with school district leaders and community partners from across Los Angeles County. We wish to thank the following people for their valuable contribution:

  • Alexandra Helfrich, Arts Education Advocate, Burbank Arts for All Foundation
  • Amarpal Khanna, Director of Visual and Performing Arts, ICEF Public Schools
  • Heather Moses, CCUSD Front and Center Theatre Collaborative, Culver City
  • Jennifer Olson, District Arts Education Coordinator, Pasadena Unified School District
  • Jim Thomas, Coordinator, Visual & Performing Arts, Orange County Department of Education
  • Laura Chardiet, President, Board of Education, Culver City Unified School District
  • Paula Trubisky, Arts Education Advocate, Burbank Arts for All Foundation
  • Dr. Peter J. Knapik, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Staff Development, Mountain View School District
  • Toby Harwell, Music Teacher, Lennox School District
  • Tom Johnstone, Superintendent, Wiseburn School District

For additional information or guidance on how to use this document, please contact Arts for LA Advocacy Manager Cristina Pacheco. Working together, we can ensure all children have access to a complete education that includes the arts.